PHILADELPHIA–The City of Philadelphia, in response to an emergency that has taken the lives of thousands of Philadelphians, disrupted the lives of tens of thousands more, and affected the lives of each and every one of us, recognizes International Overdose Awareness Day. In honor of this day, and to save as many lives as possible, the Health Department will be holding a series of naloxone giveaway days in September. International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st every year that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death.
Health Commissioner Tom Farley said, “The only way to solve this crisis is to do three things: reduce the number and duration of opioids being prescribed, increase the number of people getting into high-quality, evidence-based treatment, and keep people alive long enough to get them into treatment.”
In order to save as many lives as possible the Health Department, in concert with the Free Library of Philadelphia, will be distributing free naloxone (Narcan), and will have staff available to answer questions, give information about responding to drug overdoses, and offer training on administering naloxone. No registration is required for these giveaways. Naloxone is an opioid overdose reversal drug. It is non-addictive and not high inducing. It works by blocking the effect of opioids and helps a person to start breathing again.
The first giveaway day will be held on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at the following locations and times:
- Kensington Library, 104 West Dauphin Street, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Frankford Library, 4634 Frankford Avenue, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
- Greater Olney Library, 5501 North 5th Street, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- South Philadelphia Library, 1700 South Broad Street, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- Lovett Memorial Library, 6945 Germantown Avenue, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The second giveaway day will be held on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at the following locations and times:
- McPherson Square Library, 601 East Indiana Avenue, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Queen Memorial Library, 1201 South 23rd Street, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Ramonita G. de Rodriguez Library, 600 West Girard Avenue, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
- Haverford Library, 5543 Haverford Avenue, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
The Health Department encourages all Philadelphians to get trained on overdose reversal and to carry naloxone. You never know when you’ll find someone experiencing an overdose. In 2017, a Health Department survey found that 32% of Philadelphians had used an opioid in the last year. Additionally, there have been more reports of opioid overdoses where the user did not know they were ingesting opioids. These opioid-naive people did not know that whatever they were ingesting was an opioid and they experienced an overdose as a result.
For more information on naloxone trainings in Philadelphia, the public is encouraged to visit http://www.phillynaloxone.com. Media interested in attending a naloxone giveaway day event are encouraged to contact the Health Department to facilitate that.